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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:27 AM   #1
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Thoughts?

OK, I've never before posted on DVi any links to anything I've done, but I'm just kind of curious about what you guys and gals will say about this short that I recently made. The stuff I do probably isn't for everyone, and I take that into consideration when I receive brutal criticism. So say whatever you want and don't worry about offending me or anything.

I also want to add that I'm not looking for comments on any particular aspect of this piece, so feel free to comment on the technical side of things, on the content, or on both. Whatever strikes you.

I've uploaded this short in several relatively platform-agnostic formats of varying levels of quality, from an embedded youtube player up to full-res 24p MPEG-2. Take your pick.

Youtube player is at:
this here link

Several other formats are "grabbable" at:
this link here

Thoughts? Comments? Raging flames of intense dislike? :D
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Old October 11th, 2006, 01:48 AM   #2
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Just an off the cuff reaction: I was bored.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 01:59 AM   #3
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Is it possible to get bored in less than 6 minutes? :D

Fair enough.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
Is it possible to get bored in less than 6 minutes? :D

Fair enough.
Yes it is... I thought the concept was interesting, but you really could have cut that short down to less than 3 minutes without losing anything. It was just WAY too slow paced for me. For a whole minute there was nothing said in the begining, just the shot of an ear with text, you need to create an intro that will hook the audience. Had it been any longer than 6 minutes I would have closed it after the text went into his ear...
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #5
 
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It's been a long time since I've given a critique, because most people can't handle them, but you appear to take things like a mature person. Foremost, I'm doing this because I think you're really onto something here!

Be that as it may, I can't help but agree with everything that has been said thus far.

However, I do believe it could be kept at 6 minutes and still be interesting, even compelling! I began to get a sense of the character's feeling for time, but the visuals, or lack there of, along with the pacing, prevented me from staying connected. My mind began to wander. I was always saying, "Okay, cut here. Move it along," but it didn't happen. After a few minutes, I fast forwarded several times just to get to the end.

I think there are five areas that that could be refined to improve an already good concept. The first is the script (character/event/cause). The second is acting (I never saw/felt the character's angst). The third is lighting (it lacked mood). The fourth is editing (it lacked rhythm, this would include more varied, plot-driven visuals). The fifth, and the most important, is sound (that should be the "star" but it never varied). I'm reminded of the sound in the Robert Wise (original) version of "The Haunting." If you have access to that movie, watch it! Listen to it carefully (especially during the "hauntings")! I think you'll understand what I'm talking about.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #6
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I'm guessing none of you guys are fans of Satantango. :) Not that that movie has any direct relation to this short, but it does have a slower pacing than most of us of the MTV generation are willing to put up with, much less understand on its own terms.

Thanks for commenting, everybody. There's nothing here I didn't expect to hear.
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Last edited by Jarrod Whaley; October 11th, 2006 at 02:03 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 03:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
Thanks for commenting, everybody. There's nothing here I didn't expect to hear.
It's really nice to see you can handle critisiscm so well, I know this is off topic, but I still wanted to say this. We all learn new things every day :-)

Best regards,
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Old October 11th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #8
 
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Jarrod, I am WAY beyond the MTV generation, but thanks for the compliment.

Long takes are fine when they are properly motivated, when they serve a purpose.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Jarrod,Long takes are fine when they are properly motivated, when they serve a purpose.
one such film would be Napoleon Dynamite, it's not a film for everybody but for me it was one of those films i couldn't stop watching, not because i loved the story but because i'd never seen anything like it.

Jarrod if you applied the same technique in filmmaking with a more interesting story, or even expand on the one you have and make him hear something that may be inocent in nature but he takes it to be something else and ends up stalking this person, so sure in his own little world that his downstairs neighbour is plotting to assassinate the president or something. I love those crack pot kind of films.

Andy.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Long takes are fine when they are properly motivated, when they serve a purpose.
As they are here? If you personally don't see the purpose (or like the purpose), does it mean there isn't one? :) I think that statement is more than a little insulting. Fortunately, I don't feel insulted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham
Jarrod if you applied the same technique in filmmaking with a more interesting story, or even expand on the one you have and make him hear something that may be inocent in nature but he takes it to be something else and ends up stalking this person, so sure in his own little world that his downstairs neighbour is plotting to assassinate the president or something. I love those crack pot kind of films.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think you see what I'm doing here. That's OK. I didn't really expect to hear anything but universal dislike here. I do get a chuckle out of all the intimations that I could have done so many things "better" when I knew exactly what I was doing and was working according to my own methods and tastes. I think everyone should work that way rather than trying to guess what a huge number of people might find "interesting" or "not boring." I'm not trying to entertain people, I'm trying to say something--and I say it in the best way that I can. I know no one cares what I think--nor should they, necessarily--but there it is.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #11
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overall i thought it was good ... do not shorten it ...
IMO there are some shorts that don't work well over the internet and this is one ... i think this is a short one needs to view in a dark room and view it BIG = as in send it to some film festivals ...

my main question has to do with the Voice over - not the lines but the persons voice ??? can't quite put my finger on it - maybe it's the tone ,phrasing ??? perhaps a different voice would ??

submit it to some festivals ...
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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
I know no one cares what I think--nor should they, necessarily--but there it is.
man i LIKED it

The whole idea of making a film is to create a world/senario that people can care about/ emotionally invest in. You have to dumb yourself down to watch it objectivly from a joe blogs point of view whatever your project.

I do see what you are trying to do, i liked your concept all i said was expand on it and give it a purpose , you could make a feature out of that if you did it right.

Even though you say you don't mind criticism i get the distinct impression you don't like it. Nothing that is said in here matters really ,all that matters is sales and distribution.

Andy.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Donatello
overall i thought it was good ... do not shorten it ...
IMO there are some shorts that don't work well over the internet and this is one ... i think this is a short one needs to view in a dark room and view it BIG = as in send it to some film festivals ...

my main question has to do with the Voice over - not the lines but the persons voice ??? can't quite put my finger on it - maybe it's the tone ,phrasing ??? perhaps a different voice would ??

submit it to some festivals ...
Thanks, Don. It was definitely made with a big screen in mind; the internet just happens to be a handy way to show it to people--far from ideal.

Can you expand a bit on your comment re: the voiceover? I know you said you can't put your finger on it, but you've got me curious. By the way, it's my voice. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham
The whole idea of making a film is to create a world/senario that people can care about/ emotionally invest in. You have to dumb yourself down to watch it objectivly from a joe blogs point of view whatever your project.

I do see what you are trying to do, i liked your concept all i said was expand on it and give it a purpose , you could make a feature out of that if you did it right.
While I appreciate your willingness to comment and do respect your opinion, I still don't think you're really seeing this for what it's supposed to be. You say you do, but I can't imagine that's the case if your personal belief is that "the whole idea of making a film is to create a world/senario that people can care about/ emotionally invest in." That's one idea; it's not the whole idea, and certainly not the only one. I'm not making this stuff for "Joe Blogs," and so there's no reason for me to "dumb it down" for his or anyone else's benefit. If my intended audience was Mr. Lowestcommondenominator of Everymanville, your criticisms would be very valid. But I really believe that you have to evaluate any piece of work on its own terms as much as possible and keep your own predilections out of it. For example, if I were to judge Titanic by my own criteria of what makes a good movie, I'd have to say it sucks. But I feel like I owe it to the work to judge it within its intended context and keeping in mind the filmmakers' implicit aims. The same applies to any movie, or any other creative work, I think.

That's just two pennies from my pocket.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:13 PM   #14
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Jarrod,

my last post in this thread (and my first) was just a comment about how you took (some pretty harsh) critisism, I respected that.
But I hadn't seen your movie.

Now I did, and I actually have to say I liked your, and I didn't find one shot too long. Nice audio too!
It had something mysterious for me, and I liked how this guys life was a mess, how he was kind of obsessed, really interesting, and some original compositions.

Did you do the day/night transitions completely in postproduction?

Anyhow, I liked it, keep up the good work!
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:20 PM   #15
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Thanks a lot Mathieu, I'm glad you liked it. I'm particularly glad you thought the audio worked, because I spent quite a bit of time mixing it.

I did in fact do the day-to-night transitions entirely in post. For the night shots, I took the regular daylight footage and lowered the gamma curve a bit, then I pushed the mid-levels toward blue with the color corrector. I keyframed both effects for a smooth transition. The addition of crickets chirping to the soundtrack really helps carry the illusion, I think. :)
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Last edited by Jarrod Whaley; October 11th, 2006 at 08:15 PM.
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